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Hojicha 101; Japan’s Popular Refreshing Roasted Green Tea

Houjicha, Hojicha 101 Food & Recipes

Hojicha, Houjicha is popular green tea in Japan.

Yes, it is green tea processed by roasting green tea leaves.

When looking at Hojicha, it’s very different from regular green tea-its color, aroma, and taste. Although it has a different feature, Hojicha still can bring you health benefits and high relaxation.

Contrary to the “Matcha” boom, Hojicha has been behind of popularity of Japanese green tea.

However, Hojicha taste is kind of nutty taste so it is actually easy to drink to even those who don’t like bitter, weedy, Japanese green tea

Besides, Houjicha is low in caffeine!

Hojicha is one of my favorite teas, so I am very happy to talk about “Hojicha” and its impact on your healthy life.

What’s Hojicha

  1. Roasty Flavor
  2. Refreshing clear after-taste
  3. Dark brown color

As I said, Hojicha is made by roasting tea leaves.

Hojicha is in less caffeine and its toasty aroma attracts all ages from kids to elders. In Japan, Hojicha is the common kids-safe tea as well as Barley tea.

The tea leaf is the same kind of green tea, besides, tea leaves for Hojicha are used Bancha aka Ni-bancha (harvested after new green tea ) or Sencha (ordinal green tea) tea leaves.

Originally, Hojicha was invented to make bancha and kukicha that have a strong earthy bitter flavor.

Especially, Hojicha used stems is called Kuki Hojicha, and people are attracted by stronger roasted flavor and aroma.

It was considered a second-class green tea. However, as the popularity of hojicha grows, the variety of hojicha is increasing in Japan.

So, Hojicha made of Sencha is actually an elegant flavor.

Hojicha can change a deep taste depending on the type and part of green tea.

So, it is interesting to buy Hojicha next time when you consider it.

Houjicha? Hojicha? The Pronunciation Of Hojicha

“Houji” is the term that came from “Houji – ru”, which literally means “to roast”. “Cha” is “Tea” in Japanese, so “Hojicha” means “Roasted tea”.

In English, you can spell “Hojicha” or “Houjicha”.
I am not an authority so I am not sure which is right.
But “Houjicha” is closer to correct Japanese pronunciation. However, google keep correcting me when I spell “Houjicha”.

What Does Hojicha Taste Like?

I know this is the most fact you want to know.

The Japanese often describe it, “The tea has a toasty refreshing aroma and clear after-taste.”

I would say it’s nutty, toasty, refreshing, and naturally sweet, and comfy.

It’s really different taste from ordinary green tea what you know.

Even the color is not vibrant green, it’s clear brown.

But, it’s not even like the taste of Chinese and English tea…

I think that Hojicha is friendly to anyone who likes tea because it doesn’t have habits.

What Is Hojicha Good For?

The Ideal Tea For Everybody; Low In Caffeine

Houjicha is known as low in caffeine.

The table below is sourced from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.

 Caffeine content/ 100g
Coffee60mg
English tea30mg
Gyokuro160mg
Sencha20mg
Hojicha20mg
Genmai cha10mg
Oolong tea20mg

The caffeine content of hojicha varies depending on the type of tea leaves used (the difference between second and third teas, etc.) and the manufacturing process.

Therefore, hojicha is the ideal tea drink for anyone even children.

In fact, Japanese moms commonly give kids hojicha which is divided with water.

High Relaxation Effect In Hojicha

Hojicha is also rich in theanine, which supports the relaxation effect on your mind, body, and brain.

Not only rich in theanine, but also Hojicha has particularly rich in a component called “pyrazine” produced by the roasting process.

What pyrazine can bring you a relaxation effect?

The unique toasty aroma actually comes from pyrazine, and it works to relax the brain and mind when smelling it.

Thus, Hojicha has a powerful relaxing effect with the combination of theanine and pyrazine.

Hojicha Can Warm Up Your Body

“Pyrazine” contained in hot Hojicha can help boost blood circulation so it can warm the body.

Do you often feel cold even in the summertime due to the air conditioning?

Hot drinks are nice to have for warming up your body but you want to care about caffeine consumption in a day.

So, Hojicha which is low in caffeine, it’s the perfect cozy drink for boosting blood circulation.

Keep hojicha tea bags at your office!

Catechin Power In Hojicha

Hojicha is made from green tea, so of course, hojicha contains Catechin.

“Catechin” (polyphenol) has the effect of breaking down fat cells. So, As boosting blood circulation, Hojicha can be expected Metabolism effect as well as boost blood circulation effect.

It also has a bactericidal action. 

Since it suppresses the bacteria in the mouth that cause bad breath, drinking roasted green tea gives you a simple etiquette to prevent bad breath.

Have a cup (glass) of Hojicha after lunch!

Itoen Hojicha (Roasted Green Tea) Premium bag Pack of 50

Itoen is a large tea products company worldwide, and the ideas and the passion for Japanese tea products impress us all the time.

And, happy price with high-quality!

The trigonal pyramid-shaped tea bag can infuse more flavor and aroma quickly from tea leaves.

Easy, Quickly, Reasonable, and 50 bags!

It’s the perfect office tea drink to share with coworkers and friends.

Do You Know Kuki Hojicha?

There are generally two types of Hojicha,

  • Hojicha which roasted tea leaves.
  • Kuki Hojicha which is roasted mainly on stems. It is often called “Karigane Hojicha” or “Bo(u) Hojicha.”

*Kuki literally means a stem in Japanese.

Simply, Kuki Hojicha is roasted “Kukicha” wing tea.

Kuki Hojicha, especially, the one called “Karigane Hojicha” has a richer flavor, aroma, and brown color than Hojicha.

Karigane is the carefully selected stems in the manufacturing process of gyokuro and sencha. When you hear “stem”, it sounds weedy and low-quality, however, Karigane, sometimes called “Shraori” is recognized as a luxury green tea in Japan.

It has a refreshing aroma and flavor and is slightly sweeter compared to leaf tea.

Ippodo Tea – Bancha – Kuki Hojicha (100g Bag)

Its roasted aroma reminds brewing coffee.

Refreshing, rich, and sweet taste. It goes well with butter toast or creamy sweets.

When you want to have a cup of coffee, but you want to be gentle on your stomach, why not try Kuki-Hojicha?

It has a powerful refreshing flavor and cleans after taste.

Hojicha Loose Tea VS Hojicha Tea Bags

Most people think the loose tea type is a better flavor and aroma when it is brewed rather than a tea bag type.

Is it true?

Let’s compare these types of Hojicha.

Hojicha Loose Tea

Like other tea drinks, the loose-leaf type is preferred for those who want to brew hojicha yourself or who want to enjoy making the tea process.

Although Japanese tea bag products are well-designed to brew tea leaves efficiently while keeping the original quality of tea leaves, it is fact that loose tea can provide whole essentials from tea leaves.

Also, it’s easy to adjust flavor levels.

Yamasan’s hojicha is an organic product that meets the organic requirements of the JAW system based on the Japanese Agricultural Standards Law and can be a safe drink for children and the elderly.

How To Brew Hojicha At Home?

Now, do you want to know tips and guides on how to brew Hojicha loose tea.

Here is my ultimate guide on how you can make an authentic Hojicha.

Japanese Hojicha Teabag

As you know making tea with a teabag is much easier, quicker, and even easy to clean. (Well, just dump it into the trash.)

Also, it’s handy to keep a few teabags in a bag, in a desk drawer.

Teabags usually don’t require a tea set. A mug, and boiled water. Anyone can easily brew.

Moreover, it is an easy way to make a large amount of Hojicha.

When you want to make a Hojicha latte, just insert the tea bag in the hot milk.

So, the most appealing keys to using teabag are easy, quick, and handy.

Most people may think that tea brewed with a teabag has a lower quality but, it is not true in some cases.

Especially, Japanese teabag products that used the same quality of tea leaves as regular tea are well-designed in shape and material to brew a great tea.

This is the second time to talk about Ito En(伊藤園)! which is the largest Japanese tea distributor company in Japan.

Especially, the company is famous for producing bottled green tea as first company. (Oi Ocha)

“Itoen Hojicha Premium”  is used 100% of “Ichiban cha” produced in Japan.

Ichibancha is the tea harvested from the first sprout of tea leaves in a year, which is rich in Amino acids creating Umami flavor and aroma.

Generally, second harvested tea or later than that is used for roasted green tea, but because of the name of “Premium bag”, it is the premium hojicha to bring you luxury relaxation time with its premium flavor and aroma.

Uses a triangular nylon bag designed for brewing hojicha to enhance its flavor and aroma.

Hojicha Powder

Lastly, talk about Hojicha powder. The name suggested the product is powdered Hojicha tea.

It could be easier than tea bags, you don’t need to wait for the tea to brew.

Besides, it is easier to adjust the flavor.

However, it can be bitter and harsh when adding too much powder.

Also, you need to pay attention when purchasing “Hojicha powder” products.

Make sure that you are going to buy “for a drink” not for “cooking”.

How To Make Cold Brew Hojicha At Home

In the summer season, cold Hojicha is another refreshing drink. Just adding an ice cube to brewed hojicha is OK, but why don’t you make cold brew Hojicha at home?

Hojicha Latte Is Must-Try In Japan

hojicha latte, gifu, mino, Japan

↑↑↑ Iced Hojicha Soy Latte At HAPPA STAND In Mino city, Gifu

There is “Matcha Latte” worldwide, so why not “Hojicha Latte”!

I am not sure Hojicha latte is on the menu already at your favorite cafe, anyway in Japan, “hojicha latte” is popular even at Starbucks in Japan.

Sometimes I feel an unpleasant bitter after-taste in Matcha latte, so I like Hojicha latte rather than Matcha latte.

If you would like to try, make a homemade Hojicha latte.

The Bottom Line

Hojicha, Houjicha is the ideal tea as a daily refreshment, especially for those who want to avoid caffeine.

Personally, I like Hojicha rather than other green tea-its refreshing taste and clear after-taste so I always choose Hojicha latte rather than Matcha latte.

Japanese green tea has been known for its health benefits and is recommended as a daily drink.

However, there are possible to cause side effects for some people who have sensitivity to tea components includes caffeine.

Therefore Hojicha is low in caffeine and can be the next Japanese green tea to drink daily for your health.

What Are Health Benefits Of Green Tea

Another New Green Tea For You

When you like Hojicha’s natty, toasty flavor, and aroma, you will love Barley tea too. Barley tea is the staple Summer drink in Japan, and the tea has also several health benefits and non-caffeine.

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